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Friday, February 22, 2008

George Washington’s Birthday


Archives--Who is John Estok? 02/26/2006
    Classified Ads---Sales Managers
        Heritage Pacific Leasing for Sale
Paul Menzel, CLP, American Banker: UCC's
    Capital Stream sold to India company
        Classified Ads---Help Wanted
Cartoon—Sales: “We try harder”
    Housing Starts hold, permits slip
        Continued Housing Market Distress
NVLA Legal issues: San Francisco
    San Francisco Valley Leasing
        News Briefs---
California Nuts Brief---
    "Gimme that Wine"
        Calendar Events
Snapple Real Facts
    Today's Top Event in History
        This Day in American History
Winter Poem
        Daily Puzzle
Provence, France-Vacation
News on Line---Internet Newspapers
Lancaster, PA

Inside Operation Lease Fleece: Part II---Monday

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”


Archives--Who is John Estok? 02/26/2006

IFC has been on a buying spree the last few years including Blue Dot Funding, Pioneer, First Portland, plus receiving good marks from its line where it has allegedly $9 million in NorVergence leases (and reportedly another $3 million in investor programs), plus recently announced renewal of its $75 million revolving credit facility with Autobahn Funding Company, LLC, an asset-backed commercial paper conduit sponsored by DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank.

The press release above basically says business couldn't be any better, and much of the success seems to be attributed to Mr. Estok, CLP, who reportedly expanded First Portland and is doing the same for IFC Credit in the “small ticket marketplace.”

Who is he?

First, he is a Certified Leasing Professional. He is one of 174 who passed the exam and has kept his certification current. This is a considered a prestigious designation in the leasing industry.

While is title on e-mail and other documents is “Executive Vice-President”, IFC Credit Corporation, Morton Grove, Illinois, the IFC web site and in the above press release, he is listed as "President, Small Ticket Group. Perhaps he is both, executive VP of the corporation and president of the “division.”

According to the biography on the web site, Mr. Estok, CLP, began in the leasing industry in 1972. It is assumed in Canada, although the time to 1985 is not stated. The biography notes he was president from 1984 to 1986 of the Equipment Lessors Association of Canada. He most likely served on the board prior to that. The California Finance and Leasing Association notes on its web site they were “...Established in September 1993 through the merger of the Canadian Automotive Leasing Association and the Equipment Lessors Association of Canada, with an initial membership of sixty-one.”

The IFC Credit web site notes Mr. Estok, CLP, from 1985-1991, was executive vice president of Norex Leasing, Burlington, Canada .

1991-1995, President and CEO of Industrial Leasing Corporation of Portland, Oregon. 1995-96,Executive Vice President and COO of Hitachi Credit Canada Inc., in Mississauga, Canada.

The press release above states, “After 15 years and recognizing that the name First Portland Corporation was being viewed increasingly as tied just to Portland, Oregon, the company registered its trademark FirstCorp in 1995. In 2003, First Portland Corporation was sold to IFC Credit Corporation, and IFC Credit has since continued to position its small ticket business under the FirstCorp brand.”

The IFC Credit web site notes Mr. Estok in 1996, “... moved from his native Canada to join FIRSTCORP dba First Portland Corporation,” when it appears the company then gained national prominence in the small ticket market, according to the IFC Credit press release. February, the company had completed its acquisition of First Portland

The Fall, 2003 IFC Credit Newsletter noted that John Estok had “…relocated to Morton Grove to lead IFC's operations, credit, collections, and IT staff.”

He has recently made the Leasing News editions due primarily to the NorVergence lease mess. The Federal Trade Commission is looking further into the events, particularly after the results:

“IFC's Lift Stay Motion (an attempt to obtain another 256 NorVergence Equipment Lease Agreements with a face value of approximately $15 Million on which they claimed that they obtained a security assignment from NorVergence and filed their UCC-1 on June 15, 2004), the Affidavit of John Estok in support of IFC's lift stay motion (where he acknowledges that the "matrix" boxes probably have no value without service included - which is why IFC did not seek to foreclose on the collateral "matrix" boxes, only the ERAs)

Recently there are questions regarding whether perjury was committed in a case involving NorVergence leases in Texas.

“The real issue with IFC's holdbacks is the filing of affidavits which lied about the amounts paid for the assignments. IFC filed affidavits in two different lawsuits which alleged that the entire assignment amount was paid, as opposed to the amounts which John Estok recently admitted in a deposition and in trial testimony to have been the amounts actually paid due to the holdbacks. The affidavit testimony was, therefore, perjury.”

Mr. Estok, CLP, on February 14th asked “..48 hours to determine our response.” In all fairness, Rudolph Trebels wrote Leasing News it was not his company's policy to comment on matters in litigation, and perhaps that is why not response is forthcoming.

It appears Leasing News readers will have to wait for court transcripts, as they are public documents or the final out come of these contested matters.

(Note: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) case against IFC Credit, Morton Grove, Illinois has been moved to the end of April, this year. Depositions and transcripts of Mr. Estok are part of FTC’s case
against IFC Credit. editor.)



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For a full listing of all “job wanted” ads, please go to:

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Heritage Pacific Leasing for Sale

Leasing News reported that Ron Mitchell left Heritage Pacific Leasing, Fresno, California, at the end of November as well as others, thus the reason he joined Banclease Acceptance Corporation on January 10, 2008. In fact, the entire sales staff including Rick Gatelli, CLP, the president, and Charlie Litt, Senior Vice-President, were let go.

Leasing News held the story as a courtesy to the participates until John Otto, the owner, CEO, confirmed that he has rejected an offer to sell the company to Rick Gatelli, CLP, Charlie Litt, and John
Estok, CLP, formerly of IFC Credit Corporation and First Portland Corporation (please see archives above.) Otto says he has another suitor and is considering it, but does not need to sell the company.

He divested himself of his investment in Pentech Financial, Campbell, California, last year, he confirmed, and as readers know closed down Centerpoint Leasing after Gordon Roberts was convicted of theft. Otto was the major investor in the company.

He had nothing but high compliments to make of the people who left in November, saying he wanted to get out of direct originations and was now more involved in buying portfolio’s, managing portfolio’s
for small banks, and too busy in his charter aviation company. He says he still enjoys the leasing business, but the impression was he saw the writing on the wall last year, as well as he wants to
travel more and enjoy life more.



Paul Menzel, CLP, in American Banker: UCC's

Leasing News Person of the Year for 2005, Paul Menzel, CLP, now President LEAF Third Party Funding, formerly senior vice-president of Pacific Capital Bank, Santa Barbara, California. was quoted in the February, 2008 edition of American Banker magazine regarding using UCC's to call prospective leasing leads:

"Paul Menzel, the president of Leaf Third Party Funding, a Santa Barbara unit of the asset-based lender Leaf Financial Corp., contends ‘that information from UCC filings can yield worthwhile leads. Just knowing the maturity date of business loans can make marketing more effective,’ he said.

"'I think the leasing industry has been ahead of the curve in using UCC filings for marketing purposes,'" Mr. Menzel said. 'Aggressive and savvy banks can use this information to direct market to their competitors' customers'.”

The American Banker article was titled "New Service Helps Lenders Track Competitors;" written by By Katie Kuehner-Hebert:

"Bankers already monitor rivals' loan activity through Uniform Commercial Code filings, but with competition for commercial loans becoming increasingly fierce, a California data-mining company has developed a service that simplifies the act of surveillance.

“LeaseLogic Inc. in Santa Barbara launched the California Community Bank Intelligence service last month. LeaseLogic e-mails subscribing banks a list of UCC filings that competitors made for business loan deals secured by equipment, inventory, or assets other than real estate.

“The filings contain the names and contact information of the businesses that took out the loans. For an additional fee, banks can access LeaseLogic's database to read any loan documents attached to the filings, to get more detail on the terms.

" ‘This service allows banks to target their competitors' customers, because they are oftentimes the most qualified prospects,’ said Benjamin Kennedy, the chief executive of LeaseLogic. ‘It also helps banks better know their market share and switch rate’."

“So far half a dozen community banks are using the service on a trial basis, Mr. Kennedy said, though he would not name them. The service is restricted to UCC filings on loans made in California, but LeaseLogic plans a nationwide rollout within 12 to 18 months.

“Scott Loux, a commercial loan pricing consultant with Sheshunoff & Co. Investment Banking in Austin, said that in a slowing economy, quality loans will get harder to find, so anything banks can use to get an advantage would be helpful.

"’This will be one of those things that will take time to build momentum, though,’ because banks typically negotiate loan terms with borrowers, Mr. Loux said. ‘But the bank also has to make its profit, and part of that is helping the borrower understand the value the bank brings besides a bag of money, such as being a business adviser. This service can go hand in hand with that type of negotiation’ by giving banks an idea of how their competitors have negotiated deals.

"’Once one or two banks do this, I think it will gain momentum, because banks will see that their competitors are looking at them,’ he said.

David Taber, the CEO of the $574 million-asset American River Bankshares in Sacramento, said his lenders currently search manually through UCC filings by ZIP code to find commercial loan leads, so he would consider subscribing to this type of service, because it could speed things up.

"’We never want to talk badly about our competition, but if we knew whether the competition was a big bank that requires customers to call an '800' number, then we might say, ‘Our CEO is right here, and here's his direct number should you ever need his services,’' ‘ Mr. Taber said.

“Customers can get daily, weekly, or monthly reports, and the pricing depends on the number of lenders and counties monitored. For example, a bank that wanted to monitor 10 competitors in three counties for 12 months would pay about $4,470 for 260 reports, or $17.19 per daily report. The database access is $249 a month.

“Thomas Hawker, the CEO of the $1.9 billion-asset Capital Corp. of the West in Merced, Calif., said such a service may not be necessary for all types of commercial lenders, since most find good leads with more conventional methods (such as attending local chamber of commerce events), which also give them better opportunities to foster relationships..."

Here is the "lead generation" web site for Leaselogic:



Capital Stream sold for $40 million to India company

Capital Stream, 2/08 HCL Technologies, based in India, purchases CapitalStream for $40 million cash (1/04) " a leader in front office automation solutions for commercial and equipment finance operations, today announced that it has acquired CapitalThinking Inc., a leading vendor of process automation and risk management software products for the commercial lending and commercial mortgage industry. The combined companies will continue operating under the CapitalStream name,” stated the press release.(8/03) Loses bid to purchase Decision Systems/IDS-USA. (8/03) John Kruse, Jim Brady, Cliff Monlux Open New Company: MAINSTREET FINANCE. Kruse and Monlux were original founders of CapitalStream, originally System 1 and Capital Advantage (6/03) Raises money for acquisitions, first move is to Buy Decision Systems International American operation. (1/2003) John Kruse has left the building. (10/2002) Corporate take-over by Wired Capital, complete new management team and officers, John Kruse now "salesman."

For a full story click here (3/2002) Steve Campbell Resigns as CEO, (8/2001) John Kruse, VP, Account Development, announces another reduction of staff as "... precautionary measures because we don't see an immediate resolution to the economic downturn. We still remain financially healthy, and believe that reducing our capacity is a prudent business decision." Hal Hayden, Jim Buckles, Randy Anderson, many sales people gone.

Leasing News, The list

Full press release from HCL on the purchase:



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Broker Relations Manager

Broker Relations Manager
Bothell , Washington

Build/manage broker base. Provide guidance to new brokers. Work with "full financial" credit packages, “story” & non-standard credits from $25,000 to $450,000.
e-mail or
fax resume: 425.806.1813 .

Our new business is sourced exclusively through brokers.



Los Angeles, CA

Require Great Plains & 5+ yrs of accounting exp.  CPA & exp. in equip. leasing are desired but not required.  Must have BA in accounting/finance field. Send resume to

About the Company : Jules & Associates, Inc. is at forefront of the equipment finance industry.  Founded in 1989, we have been ranked twice by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.

Lease Officer


SMALL TICKET LESSOR, providing superior service for 35+years Transactions- $10Kto $1MM, Seeks seasoned sales professionals To learn more: sandyspringbank.tms or contact Scott Wheeler at

Senior Credit Analyst

Senior Credit Analyst

Westport, CT.

Captive construction equipment finance background preferred;flexible adaptive team player w/8 years  underwriting exper. For more info/to apply click here.

A Fortune 500 construction equipment manufacturing company.





Housing Starts hold their own, permits slip


Al Schuler, US Department of Agriculture
Forest Service
Specialist timber/wood industry

January housing starts increased 0.8%, to 1.012 million (SAAR). The increase in total starts was due to the strength in multi family housing, which was up 22%, while single family activity fell 5.2% to 0.743 million (SAAR).

Regionally, starts were split, down 2.9% in the South and down 9.8% in the West while starts were up 18.9% in the NE and up 12% in the Midwest. Permits continue to slide, down 3% to 1.048 million (SAAR), the slowest pace in fifteen years.

The thing about recessions is that by the time a recession is declared “official”, we are out of the recession. I.e., reliable data to indicate two successive quarters of GDP contraction – the official metric for a recession – is available only with a 3 – 6 month lag. And, even if we’re in recession, it should be short (2 or maybe 3 quarters, as exports are doing fine, thanks to the weaker dollar; employment is still decent; and consumer spending remains relatively healthy).

Something good may come from a brief recession too – recently, consumer spending has grown to 70% of our economy compared with an average of 62% during the 1980 – 2000 periods. Too much weight was being placed on the American consumer in my opinion. The economy would be more stable with better balance between the consumer, government spending, net exports, and investment spending.

Here is a great graph from the Economist magazine (February 7, 2008) showing that the impact of a recession is felt differently based on your geography. If national data says we’re in recession, chances are that half of the country will be doing fine.

One more comment on the economy – today’s CPI inflation report was not good. The chart below shows consumer inflation trends over the past 10 months. Although core inflation (less food and energy) is still tame, overall inflation trends are disturbing. This may present problems for the Fed when they consider further rate cuts.

Let’s get back to housing. Inventories are still way too high and one of the problems is the relationship between home prices and incomes. I updated the chart below with 2007 data, and it shows that there is still a large gap between home prices and incomes. That gap has to shrink if the population of potential home buyers is to increase enough to bring inventories down to a level where builders start building again.

To end on a positive note – the financial markets are in a mess – the subprime problems are expanding – 1st, it was the borrowers (you and me), then the lenders, and now the mortgage insurers are in trouble. The industry is making some progress on each front, but it will take time because nobody likes to lose money. But, to get out of this mess, some people (e.g., financial sector) are going to have to lose money – lots of money – that’s what happens when we have “bubbles”. That goes for home owners too - once the home prices come down to reality (where homes are affordable to potential buyers), the housing mess will right itself. And, hopefully, that should happen by the end of 2008, and this should provide a good basis for some rebuilding of the market in 2009.


### Press Release ###########################

Continued Housing Market Distress Causes Fourth Quarter Loss for Thrift Industry

Washington, D.C. — The thrift industry posted a record loss of $5.24 billion for the fourth quarter of 2007, as institutions responded to a downturn in the housing market by taking write-downs, recording restructuring costs and setting aside record levels of provisions for anticipated loan losses, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) reported today.

"These are difficult economic times and I expect our thrifts to continue to bolster reserves appropriately for the loan losses anticipated in 2008," said OTS Director John Reich.

“The provisions in the third and fourth quarters of 2007 will position our thrifts for these events,” he said. “The bottom line, as performance this quarter shows, is that the economic distress in the mortgage market is an earnings issue and not a capital issue for our industry.”

About $4 billion of the overall loss resulted from a write-down by a few thrifts in goodwill, necessary to recognize the reduced value of acquired assets. Another $2.2 billion loss was due to a restructuring charge by a single institution. Income offset those losses in part.

Other highlights include:

During the fourth quarter of 2007, thrifts set aside $5.1 billion in loan loss provisions, or 1.35 percent of average assets. That’s up from 0.92 percent ($3.5 billion) in the previous quarter and 0.45 percent ($1.6 billion) in the fourth quarter one year ago. For the year, loan loss provisions totaled $11.3 billion, or 0.75 percent of average assets, compared with $3.8 billion in 2006, or 0.25 percent of average assets.

Equity capital at the end of 2007 was 9.46 percent of assets, down from 10.72 percent one year ago and 10.16 percent in the third quarter of 2007. At the end of the year, 99 percent of the industry exceeded well-capitalized standards.

Net income was $2.87 billion for the year, down from $15.85 billion in 2006. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the net loss of $5.24 billion was down from net income of $657 million in the third quarter and net income of $3.14 billion in the fourth quarter a year ago.

Profitability, as measured by return on average assets (ROA), was 0.19 percent for the year, down from 1.06 percent in 2006. In the fourth quarter of 2007, ROA was a negative 1.38 percent, down from 0.17 percent in the third quarter and 0.89 percent in the fourth quarter a year ago.

Troubled assets (noncurrent loans and repossessed assets) were 1.65 percent of assets, up from 1.19 percent in the third quarter and 0.70 percent a year ago.

OTS supervised 826 thrifts at the end of the fourth quarter. Industry assets were $1.51 trillion, an increase of seven percent for the year. OTS also supervised 475 holding company enterprises with approximately $8.5 trillion in U.S. domiciled consolidated assets.

More details, as well as charts and selected indicators, are available on the OTS website at


### Press Release ###########################

National Vehicle Leasing Association Announces Executive Level Training Program
Dates on Legal and Legislative Issues

SAN FRANCISCO---The National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA) announced that its Certified Vehicle Lease Executive (CVLE) training program course in Legal and Legislative Issues and the Vehicle Lessor will be held April 24th – 27th, 2008 in San Francisco California at the prestigious Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel.

The Legal and Legislative Issues section of the CVLE program will cover Regulation M, doing business as a foreign Corporation, bankruptcy, collection issues and compliance.

This course is designed for leasing company executives and will help protect your business interests with compliance obligation techniques. Attendees will learn valuable procedures for dealing with lessee bankruptcies and a full understanding of Regulation M.

The course will help to:

1. Enhance the skills of company principals and management to direct a successful operation.
2. Gain control of important operational issues facing every organization.
3. Keep you abreast of your legal and compliance obligations.

The main presenters for this CVLE session are:

Cary Boyden, Esq.

Cary Boyden of Davis, California is a graduate of Harvard College and the Georgetown Law Center. His experience in the leasing industry dates back to 1972, when he joined the legal staff of United States Leasing International with responsibilities both in the vehicle and equipment leasing areas. From 1974 to 1977, he served as vice president and general counsel for the Crocker McAllister Companies. Boyden entered into private practice in 1977, and in 1978 became a partner in the Sacramento firm of Boyden, Cooluris, Hauser & Saxe. Boyden is a highly respected name in the vehicle leasing industry. He has been General Counsel for the National Vehicle Leasing Association since 1977, and in 1988 was the recipient of the NVLA’s Samuel Lee Memorial Award given to an individual for lifetime achievement in the vehicle leasing industry. Boyden is the author of an article in NVLA’s Vehicle Leasing Today and a section of a text entitled Foundations of Leasing. Cary Boyden has instructed this class in legal and legislative issues since 1985 and honors students with his working knowledge of their specific needs.

Michael Benoit

Michael Benoit is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Hudson Cook, LLP. He advises banks, sales finance companies, auto leasing companies, mortgage lenders, auto dealers, and other creditors and technology providers on a wide range of consumer financial services law, including the Truth In Lending Act and Regulation Z, the Consumer Leasing Act and Regulation M, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and the USA Patriot Act. In addition, his practice covers matters involving federal and state laws relating to electronic commerce and online lending, privacy, fair lending, telemarketing, personal and real property financing, and leasing and collection practices. He began his practice in the Cleveland, Ohio firm of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP in 1993, and joined Hudson Cook, LLP 4 years later. In 2005 and 2006, he was the Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Mavent Inc. in Irvine, California, a technology company that provides automated compliance services to the mortgage industry. He rejoined Hudson Cook, LLP in September 2006.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After working for several years as a symphony musician and deciding that a better retirement plan was in order, he obtained his law degree, cum laude, from the Case Western Reserve School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ofer M. Grossman

Ofer Grossman of Glass and Goldberg is a graduate of Cornell University (1987) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry. He graduated from Boston University School of Law, cum laude, in 1991. Ofer specializes in the areas of equipment leasing, vehicle leasing and secured transactions, real estate transactions, bankruptcy and commercial collections. Ofer has been a contribution author to the United Association of Equipment Lessors Legal Line, the Equipment Leasing Association’s Leasing Law, and has presented for the legal portion of the Equipment Leasing Association’s Principles’ of Leasing Workshop in California. He is a member of the California State Bar, Los Angeles County Bar Association and Equipment Leasing Association, as well as the NVLA.

His practice areas are creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, secured transactions, real estate transactions, uniform commercial code, collections and repossessions, and loan workouts.

This weekend-long seminar is part of a continuing cycle of seminars which provide the attendee with a solid understanding of the complex issues currently surfacing within the leasing industry and what issues may affect the leasing industry in the future.

The CVLE program is just one course of study offered by the NVLA. This program consists of four individual sections of study and is designed for the lessor executive. NVLA also offers a Certified Vehicle Leasing Administrator (CVLA) program online at
The CVLA program is geared to employee training and an overall increase in leasing knowledge.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those with corporate management responsibilities and anyone involved in the auto leasing business, including: independent leasing companies, banks, credit unions, vehicle manufacturers, dealers, industry suppliers, legal services and government agencies.

About the Certified Vehicle Leasing Executive Program (CVLE)

The Certified Vehicle Leasing Executive Program of the NVLA provides upper level vehicle leasing industry management and business owners with hands-on experience and tools to further their success. The prestigious CVLE designation, first awarded in 1985, is earned through the completion of four course sessions over a two-year period, and is only awarded upon the successful completion of all four sessions of study and requisite exams.

Currently there are 222 CVLE graduates at work in North America.

For more information on the National Vehicle Leasing Association, contact NVLA headquarters at 800.225.NVLA, or, or visit the NVLA website at

About the National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA)

For 2008, the NVLA is celebrating its 40th Anniversary. NVLA provides educational opportunities, promotes responsible legislation and communicates with members regarding developments and trends in vehicle leasing. NVLA promotes the independent leasing industry while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards.


### Press Release ###########################

by Christopher Menkin

“Roy Williamson”

(This is fiction; all names, places, circumstances are fictional.)

This was a serious discussion. It was not an after 5pm get together,
as they had Monday through Friday, usually in Larry’s upstairs
office, but a meeting in Frank’s office on the first floor at 11am.
Frank had the better office. It was larger than Larry’s, plus on the
main floor, and you went through a room with people working at
their desk, to a small anteroom and then to the private office. The
Mountain View, California, building was old, but his office was clean
and plush. You knew you were in a chief executive officer’s office.

Frank had a blue-black leather sofa and large matching blue-black
leather chair in his office with a glass coffee table. It was more
old English; proper, aristocratic, expensive.

His office did have piles of paper all around, but like many accountant or attorneys’ offices, the piles were neatly stacked, seeming organized. His office with the expensive early maps of the San Francisco peninsula and Santa Clara Valley on the wall, would have been more impressive if not for all the clutter, even though in neat piles. He had a lot of things going on, and cared enough to keep them in sight until a decision was made.

This late morning Larry was surprised not to see as much clutter
on the floor, or perhaps it was better organized or Frank had
completed projects or files his office had given him to review
or make a decision. It looked very organized. When there were a
lot, it was like an organized field of land mines.

What went through Larry’s mind was whether this was going to
be friendly, and therefore he should get comfortable by sitting
on the couch, crossing his legs, taking it easy. He thought where
should he sit. The choice would give Frank the idea that he
knew how serious the meeting was going to be. The two alternatives
were standing, as if this was going to be a quick meeting, or serious,
and therefore he should sit closer to the desk in the large leather
blue-black chair. If it was going to be friendly, he would sit on
the couch, where he usually sat.

Frank owned the building and Larry was a tenant, building computers
and putting in software for dentists primarily, starting at $65,000,
primarily Digital computers and C+ software. The two were different
in that Frank was 51, tall, maybe six-three or six-four, thin from
marathon running and playing tennis, while Larry was average height,
dark hair, clean shaven compared to Frank with his Spanish brow with
white and black hair plus pepper thin mustache. Frank’s family had
come to California in the first Spanish exploration and were granted all
the land south of San Francisco at the time, all the way to Salinas.
The church was granted Monterey for a mission, as well as the
town of Salinas, which was the largest area of Indians outside of
what was later named San Jose.

Frank was not smoking, something his wife would have been proud,
had she been there, and he had a serious expression on his face.
Before he could make up his mind where to sit, or even say
“good morning” or anything, Frank spoke.

“I had a visit from Roy Williamson yesterday, “he said. “He gave
me a proposal, and I told him I both had to think about it, and
also talk to you.”

Larry quickly sat down in the dark-blue leather chair, listening to what
Frank had to say.

“It seems AT&T has closed down their leasing operation. It seems
the government said they have too much cash from their
communication fund invested. It means Strasburger is closing down
his Palo Alto office, letting everyone go, including Williamson. Also
his secretary, who we should go after. Williamson is looking around.
He says from his working the field we have the most potential
in the area and he wants to join us and triple our business.”

“How’s he going to do that?”

“Bring in the lease broker business.”

“I thought we decided against that, as we also broker deals
we don’t carry ourselves.”

“Williamson is high ticket. He has a proven track record. He wouldn’t
be available if AT&T were not getting out of the leasing business.
He also wants to stay in the area, where as Strasburger wants to go
back to San Francisco or get into another field of leasing. So it
was natural. He knows you have the computer company, take
care of the operations, primarily, do some sales, but most of the
business generated comes through my contacts, vendors, and
clients. He knows I sometimes cold call areas or after seeing
a customer, walk the area to meet the neighbors.

“He says we are not organized, don’t have any other salesmen,
and he could triple our business coming here.”

Larry moved around in his chair. He was not comfortable.
He didn’t like sitting in the big chair. He didn’t like the feeling.
Now he felt threatened. He had the computer business going well,
leasing sales for all his equipment and other equipment his
dentist contacts wanted to have. He had activity in three
counties. In fact, he had hired two computer technician to
put the systems together, finding himself too busy in giving
computer demo’s and selling leasing at the same time.

He and Frank were partners in San Francisco Valley Leasing, 50-50.
The original idea was to form a partnership, each put in 50-50
for monthly expenses, and then cut the profits at the end of
each year or whenever. The concept was like going on a trip
with another couple and pooling the cash together, paying
for things out of the cash kitty. At the end, they would
settle up.

As the business grew, they found independent leasing companies
willing to accept their lease contracts on a “discount basis” as
well as both “non-recourse” and “recourse” bank lines that
Frank had established, primarily due to his personal guarantee.

They both liked the leasing business and were doing more and
more of it each day. They had repeat business, referrals, and
vendors calling them as they did start-ups, new business, and
looked at the individuals behind the company rather than requiring
five years in business. It was the early 1980’s and they could basically
write their own ticket in the leasing business.

“So what does Williamson want?”

“I never got that far with him, “ Frank answered. “He is really
a good salesman. He talked about what he could do for us.
How he would increase sales, even laying out some ways it
could be done, talking about what he had done for Strasburger,
and how they screened the good brokers from the bad. He
never mentioned a number or what he wanted. Basically,
were we interested in growing the company, and if so, he
wanted to join us.”

“I don’t know, Frank. He may want to become a partner. I don’t
know if I want a one-third partner.”

“He didn’t say anything about becoming a partner.”

“He has been sales manager, a salesman, knows how to do
that. His next step is to be president, run his own company.
That’s what he is interested in.”

“How do you know that?”

“Once a salesman stops being a salesman and becomes a manager,
he wants more control. Here he is outlaying a plan, wanting to
build up a broker base, that will be loyal to him, and we have a
pretty loose operation now. He’ll want to streamline it, shape
it, and before you know it, he will not just be a partner, he’ll
be the president. And if he doesn’t get to be president, he’ll
leave and start his own company with what he built up here.
I know the type. He wants to be boss.”

“Larry, you weren’t even here when he made his pitch.”

“You just described it to me. When a salesman learns he controls
how much money he makes, he wants to control more and make
more money for himself. He either goes into competition with you,
or he starts up the ladder, creating positions for himself. He
will want to be vice-president, and then president. And finally
chairman of the board.”

“Larry, give me a break. The guy is talented for sure, and I believe
him when he says he can triple our sales.”

“ He’s presidential material. He wants to be a partner. In fact,
he’ll leave us and go into competition against us....I don’t want
to give up a third of the partnership for Roy Williamson.”

“How big do you want to grow?”

“I don’t want to groom brokers, teach them what we know, so
then they leave us and go into competition against us, start
their own company, and before you know it, they’ll be bigger
than us.”

“Larry, if he gets a piece of the action, Williamson won’t leave.”

“There you said it! If he gets a piece of the action. You know
he’ll become a partner—wants to become a partner. That’s it.
We don’t need Roy Williamson! “

“Larry, he doesn’t need us.”

“And we don’t need him!”

“This is a great opportunity...”

“I don’t want the two of you ganging up on me,” Larry shot back.
“Right now it is you and I, and it takes the both of us to approve
a deal that we carry recourse. It takes both of us to decide who
we are going to hire, what direction we are going to go, and if
you bring on Williamson, it will be you and he against me.”

Frank knew Larry had made up his mind. Cal was going to beat
Stanford. Ronald Reagan was going to ruin the country. C+
was the best software and Microsoft would never convert DOS
users. IBM O/S was the best personal software in the business.
Larry had made up his mind and that was it. He looked at him
sitting rigid in the chair. He was frightened and despite his
intelligence, high IQ, knowledge, he was closed down.

“You’re mind is made up?” Frank asked.

Larry shook his head yes, saying not a word.

Frank told Larry he would call Williamson and let him know San Francisco Valley Leasing didn’t have a program that fit what he was looking for.


History perhaps proved Larry right, as Williamson went on to form
two successful leasing companies, help start a local major bank,
was active in several national leasing associations, and became
very wealthy in his own right.

(This series appears every other Friday. For previous short stories,
please go to: )



News Briefs----

Expect food prices to keep rising, industry says

U.S. economic slowdown beginning to look like eve of past recession, group says

First Four out of American Idol: Garrett Haley, Amy Davis, Joanne Borgella, Colton Berry



California Nuts Briefs---

Schwarzenegger Pitches California Food and Wine



“Gimme that Wine”

Cheers! France's wine industry has record year in 2007

Sonoma County introduces Vineyard Walking Tours

E. & J. Gallo Winery Proudly Toasts 75 Years of Winemaking Excellence and Family Tradition

Changes coming to world wine map,

Wine Prices by vintage
US/International Wine Events
Winery Atlas
Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page
The London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) is an electronic exchange for fine wine.



Calendar Events This Day

Be Humble Day

George Washington's Birthday

International World Thinking Day

Saint Lucia: Independence Day
National Holiday. Commemorates independence of the island in the West Indies from Britain in 1979.

Teddy Bear Day

Walking the Dog Day

Saint feast Days



In 1926, when a Los Angeles restaurant owner with the all-American name of Bob Cobb was looking for a way to use up leftovers, he threw together some avocado, celery, tomato, chives, watercress, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, bacon, and Roquefort cheese, and named it after himself: Cobb salad.



Today's Top Event in History

1879- Frank Woolworth opened his first store at Utica, New York. The store was a great disappointment as it's sales after a few weeks were as low as $2.50 a day. Woolworth moved his store in June 1879 to Lancaster, PA, where it proved a success. He came up with the idea for a five-cent store on September 24,1878, in Watertown, NY, when he originated a “five-cent table” in the store of Moore and Smith during the week of the county fair. The first joint venture of the Woolworth brothers in Harrisburg, PA, was called the “Great 5 Cent Store.” In 1997, the closing of the chain was announced. Macy's, Montgomery Ward, K-Mart, the White House, among others have filed bankruptcy as Wal-Mart and Costco's have changed the "department store" business.


This Day in American History

    1616-A smallpox epidemic among Indians relieved future New England colonies of the threat of major hostilities with the Indians. The tribes from the Penobscot River in Maine to Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island were virtually destroyed. It was not the white man that defeated the American natives but the diseases they brought with them from the old world.
    1618-In a move to compel church attendance, Governor Samuel Argall of Virginia decreed that all who failed to attend church service would be imprisoned in the guardhouse, “lying neck and heels in the Corps of Gard ye night following and be a slave ye week following.” Sunday dancing, fiddling, card playing, hunting, and fishing were also forbidden.
    1630 - Popcorn was introduced to English colonists by Quadequine, brother of Massasoit, who brought a bag of it to dinner.
    1631-The first public thanksgiving, a fast day, was celebrated in Massachusetts Bay Colony, though many private celebrations had been recorded before this.
    1656- Congregation Shearith Israel, the first Jewish congregation in America, consecrated the first Jewish cemetery in New York City. The plot occupied a piece of ground in the section now known as Chatham Square.
    1732 –Birthday of the United States first president, George Washington, ( "in war and peace"); however, the Julian ( Old Style) calendar was still in use in the colonies when he was born and the year began in March, so the date on the calendar when George Washington was born would be actually February 11, 1731. To reduce the amount of holidays, whereas for over a century Washington was revered as president and general, we now have President’s day for both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
    1773 - The memorable "Cold Sabbath" in New England history. Many persons froze extremities while going to church, according to weather historian David Ludlum
    1778- birthday of Rembrandt Peale, American portrait and historical painter, son of artist Charles Willson Peale, born at Bucks County, PA. Died at Philadelphia, PA, Oct 3, 1860.
    1784 - The Empress of China, first trading ship sent to China from the United States, set sail from New York on this day, arriving in China on August 28.
    1819- The Florida Purchase treaty was signed by Spain and the U.S. After having lost several decisive sea battles with the British, and the French, Spain was ready to abandon its several centuries of settlements in the new world. In a triumph of diplomacy by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Spain ceded the remainder of its old province of Florida at no cost beyond that of U.S. assumption of up to $5,000,0000 of the claims of U.S. citizens against Spain. Adams also obtained for the U.S., a transcontinental southern boundary that legitimized U.S. interests on the northern side of the line to the Pacific. Florida became a state in 1845.
    1819 -- James Russell Lowell, poet/essayist/diplomat, born Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    1847- At the Battle of Buena Vista, U.S. forces under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexicans under Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. ( later in the year a battalion of U.S. Marines made its presence felt in Mexico at “the halls of Montezuma.). The war would end in 1948, by its terms Mexico recognized Texas a part of the US and ceded to the use 500,000 square miles of territory, including all of the future states of California, Nevada, and Utah, almost all of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. In return, the U.S. agreed to pay Mexico $15,000,000 . The war resulted in 1721 dead and 4102 wounded. In addition, some 11,115 Americans died of disease as a result of the war. The total cost of the war was estimated at $97,5000,000. The U.S. became an enormous continental republic, but the acquisition of the new territory aggravated the dispute between slavery and antislavery forces.
    1847- As one of his last official acts, Alcalde Bartlett certified the accuracy of the new town plan for San Francisco before the County Recorder.
    1864 –The second day/last day of Battle of Okolona, MS
    1864-- Battle at Dalton, Georgia. From Vicksburg, Mississippi, Sherman launched a campaign to take the important railroad center at Meridian and, if the situation was favorable, to push on to Selma and threaten Mobile, in order to prevent the shipment of Confederate men and supplies. To counter the threat, Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered troops into the area. While these operations unfolded, Thomas determined to probe Gen. Johnston's army in the hope that Johnston's loss of two divisions, sent to reinforce Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk as he withdrew from Meridian to Demopolis, Alabama, would make him vulnerable. Skirmishing and intense fighting occurred throughout the demonstration. At Crow Valley on the 25th, Union troops almost turned the Rebel right flank, but ultimately it held. On the 27th, Thomas's army withdrew, realizing that Johnston was ready and able to counter any assault.
    1865-- Battle of Wilmington NC (Fort Anderson) occupied by Federals ends with Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg ordered the evacuation of Wilmington, burning cotton, tobacco, and government stores. A similar event happened in the burning of Atlanta, where union troops were blamed for the destruction, but in reality it was the fleeing confederate army not wanting to leave supplies, buildings or any aid to the occupying union army. The Union army captures Fort Fisher with the great help of the “colored infantry division.” Today the fort is an national historical site, also housing the famous North Carolina Aquarium, receiving over 1 million visitors each year.
    1876-Johns Hopkins University opens, the first research university in the United States.
    1879- Frank Woolworth opened his first store at Utica, New York. The store was a great disappointment as it s sales after a few weeks were as low as $2.50 a day. Woolworth moved his store in June 1879 to Lancaster, PA, where it proved a success. He came up with the idea for a five-cent store on September 24,1878, in Watertown, NY, when he originated a “five-cent table” in the store of Moore and Smith during the week of the county fair. The first joint venture of the Woolworth brothers in Harrisburg, PA, was called the “Great 5 Cent Store.” In 1997, the closing of the chain was announced. Macy's, Montgomery Ward, K-Mart, the White House, among others have filed bankruptcy as Wal-Mart and Costco's have changed the "department store" business.
    1884- birthday of Abe Attell, boxer born Albert Knoehr at San Francisco, CA. Attell held the featherweight championship for 11 years in the early part of this century when boxing was not quite as organized as it could have been. A heavy gambler, he got involved in baseball’s Black Sox scandal, actually delivering $10,000 to the player-conspirators. but he avoided prosecution, first by fleeing to Canada and then by convincing authorities that there were two Abe Attells and the other one was the guilty party. Dieted at Livingstone Manor, NY. Feb 6, 1970.
    1888- General A.M. Winn leads a parade in San Francisco, celebrating the passage of California’s 8-hour word day law.
    1889- President Cleveland signs the Omnibus Admissions Act to admit Dakotas, Montana and Washington state. One final amendment to the Omnibus Bill was particularly significant for Washington state. Representative Springer of Illinois, chairman of the House Committee on Territories, wanted to rename Washington as the state of Tacoma. The move sparked considerable controversy in Washington, including a letter by ex-governor Watson Squire charging that the Northern Pacific had chosen the name for the city of Tacoma, had wanted to change the name of Mt. Rainier to Tacoma, and now wanted to rename the state. Watson argued the importance of keeping the name as a "trademark" and in honor of George Washington: And is not this commonwealth one of the monuments erected to the father of the republic? Why impiously seek to tear it down? Is the monument unworthy of the name? Only an ignoramus could harbor the thought! The Omnibus Bill would have renamed the state Tacoma until the final vote on February 20, at which time the name of Washington was restored. It was signed by President Cleveland on the 22nd to honor the first president of the United States.
    1892- birthday of Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet ("My candle burns at both ends . . ."), born at Rockland, ME. She died Oct 19, 1950, at Austerlitz, NY
    1906-- Black evangelist William J. Seymour first arrived in Los Angeles and began holding revival meetings. The "Azusa Street Revival" later broke out under Seymour's leadership, in the Apostolic Faith Mission located at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles. It was one of the pioneering events in the history of 20th century American Pentecostalism.
    1907- birthday of trumpeter Rex Stewart, Philadelphia, PA
    1915 –Tenor Saxophone player Buddy Tate birthday, born George Holmes Tate in Sherman, Texas, died February 3,2002
    1918- birthday of Robert Wadlow, tallest man in recorded history, born at Alton, IL. Though only 9 lbs at birth, by age 10 Wadlow already stood over 6 feet tall and weighed 210 lbs. When Wadlow died at age 22, he was a remarkable 8 feet 11.1 inches tall, 490 lbs. His gentle, friendly manner in the face of constant public attention earned him the name "Gentle Giant." Wadlow died July 15, 1940, at Manistee, MI, of complications resulting from a foot infection.
    1920- honky-tonk piano player Del Wood, whose real name was Adelaide Hendricks, was born in Nashville, Tennessee. She recorded a ragtime version of a fiddle tune called "Down Yonder" in 1951 and came up with a million- seller. Jerry Lee Lewis has cited Del Wood as one of the artists he listened to in his early years. Wood died on October 3rd, 1989 of a stroke.
    1922-- Trumpeter Joe Wilder birthday, Colwyn, PA.
    1936 - Although heat and dust prevailed in the spring and summer, early 1936 brought record cold to parts of the U.S. Sioux Center IA reported 42 inches of snow on the ground, a state record.
    1937- Bobby Hendricks, one of the several lead singers of the original Drifters following the departure of Clyde McPhatter in 1955, was born in Columbus, Ohio. Hendricks was with the Drifters for eight months. He had earlier sung with the Swallows and the Five Crowns. In 1958, Bobby Hendricks had a hit on his own with "Itchy Twitchy Feeling."
    1944---MONTGOMERY, JACK C. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near, Padiglione, Italy, 22 February 1944. Entered service at: Sallisaw, Okla. Birth: Long, Okla. G.O. No.: 5, 15 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy. Two hours before daybreak a strong force of enemy infantry established themselves in 3 echelons at 50 yards, 100 yards, and 300 yards, respectively, in front of the rifle platoons commanded by 1st Lt. Montgomery. The closest position, consisting of 4 machineguns and 1 mortar, threatened the immediate security of the platoon position. Seizing an Ml rifle and several hand grenades, 1st Lt. Montgomery crawled up a ditch to within hand grenade range of the enemy. Then climbing boldly onto a little mound, he fired his rifle and threw his grenades so accurately that he killed 8 of the enemy and captured the remaining 4. Returning to his platoon, he called for artillery fire on a house, in and around which he suspected that the majority of the enemy had entrenched themselves. Arming himself with a carbine, he proceeded along the shallow ditch, as withering fire from the riflemen and machinegunners in the second position was concentrated on him. He attacked this position with such fury that 7 of the enemy surrendered to him, and both machineguns were silenced. Three German dead were found in the vicinity later that morning. 1st Lt. Montgomery continued boldly toward the house, 300 yards from his platoon position. It was now daylight, and the enemy observation was excellent across the flat open terrain which led to 1st Lt. Montgomery's objective. When the artillery barrage had lifted, 1st Lt. Montgomery ran fearlessly toward the strongly defended position. As the enemy started streaming out of the house, 1st Lt. Montgomery, unafraid of treacherous snipers, exposed himself daringly to assemble the surrendering enemy and send them to the rear. His fearless, aggressive, and intrepid actions that morning, accounted for a total of 11 enemy dead, 32 prisoners, and an unknown number of wounded. That night, while aiding an adjacent unit to repulse a counterattack, he was struck by mortar fragments and seriously wounded. The selflessness and courage exhibited by 1st Lt. Montgomery in alone attacking 3 strong enemy positions inspired his men to a degree beyond estimation.
    1945—Birthday of '60s folk-rock singer Oliver, whose full name is William Oliver Swofford.
    1946- Dizzy Gillespie first records “ Night in Tunisia,” NYC ( Vi 40-0130 )
    1956--- Eighty well-known boycotters, including Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Edward. Nixon marched to the sheriffs office in the Montgomery County, Alabama courthouse, where they gave themselves up for arrest. On Feb 20, 1956, white city leaders of Montgomery, Alabama, issued an ultimatum to black organizers of the three-month-old Montgomery bus boycott. They said if the boycott ended immediately there would be "no retaliation whatsoever." If it did not end, it was made clear they would begin arresting black leaders. Two days later, they were booked, finger printed and photographed. The next day the story was carried by newspapers all over the world.
    1956 - For the first time, Elvis Presley hit the music charts as "Heartbreak Hotel" began to climb to number one on pop charts. It reached the top on April 11, 1956, and stayed there for eight weeks.
    1956-Billboard reviews James Brown's debut record "Please, Please, Please": "A dynamic, religious fervor runs through the pleading solo here. Brown and the Famous Flames group let off plenty of steam.
    1957---Top Hits
Too Much - Elvis Presley
Young Love - Tab Hunter
Love is Strange - Mickey & Sylvia
Young Love - Sonny James
    1957- In a small club in Blytheville, Arkansas, Jerry Lee Lewis plays "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." Although Lewis did not write the tune, it was a favorite of his since he first heard it a year earlier. This is the first time Lewis adds his own words to replace those he has forgotten.
    1958 - Roy Hamilton’s record, "Don’t Let Go", hit #13 for its first week on record charts, making it the first stereo record to make the pop music charts. The year 1958 saw several stereo recordings, including: "Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes" by Chuck Willis, "Yakety Yak" by the Coasters, "Born Too Late", by The Poni-Tails, "It’s All in the Game" by Tommy Edwards and "What Am I Living For" by Chuck Willis.
    1959 --the first running of the Daytona 500, the race that has become the most important event on the NASCAR calendar took place at the newly-opened Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Drivers lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp crossed the finished line in what appeared to be a dead heat, but photographs and film, examined later, showed Petty to be the winner.
    1961--Birthday of American composer Lowell Liebermann.
    1965---Top Hits
This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis & The Playboys
My Girl - The Temptations
The Jolly Green Giant - The Kingsmen
I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail - Buck Owens
    1965 - In the Bahamas, filming got underway for the Beatles’ second movie, "HELP!" Other scenes were shot in England and Austria. The film opened in North America in August.
    1965 - The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella, starring newcomer Lesley Ann Warren, debuted on CBS. It received a Nielsen rating of 42.3 and was among the highest-rating single programs in the history of television.
    1968-Genesis, a group formed as a songwriters' cooperative by three English schoolboys, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, release its first single, "The Silent Sun."
    1969- The Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup" peaks at #3 on the pop chart
    1969- Barbara Jo Rubin became the first woman jockey to win a thoroughbred horse race in the United States. She rode Cohesion to victory by a neck over Reely Beeg in the ninth race at Charles Town Race Track in W3est Virginia.
    1973-Roberta Flack receives a gold record for "Killing Me Softly With His Song" which was Number One for five weeks. It is rumored the quietly murdering artist in question is folkie Don McLean.
    1973---Top Hits
Crocodile Rock - Elton John
Oh, Babe, What Would You Say? - Hurricane Smith
Dueling Banjos - Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell
I Wonder if They Ever Think of Me - Merle Haggard
    1980- the Miracle on Ice...The US Olympic hockey team upset the team form the Soviet Union, 4-3 on the Lake Placid Winter Games to earn a victory often called the “Miracle on Ice.” the Americans went on to defeat Finland two days later and win the gold medal. The lit the fire at this year’s winter games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    1981- the Duke Ellington musical "Sophisticated Ladies," starring Phyllis Hyman, opened on Broadway. The Grammy’s are awarded: Tracy Chapman wins Best New Artist; Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy" wins Best Song and Record and Jethro Tull wins the first Hard Rock/Metal Grammy.
    1981---Top Hits
9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
Woman - John Lennon
Southern Rains - Mel Tillis
    1986 - A twelve siege of heavy rain and snow, which produced widespread flooding and mudslides across northern and central California, finally came to an end. The storm caused more than 400 million dollars property damage. Bucks Lake, located in the Sierra Nevada Range, received 49.6 inches of rain during the twelve day period.
    1989---Top Hits
Straight Up - Paula Abdul
Wild Thing - Tone Loc
Born to Be My Baby - Bon Jovi
Big Wheels in the Moonlight - Dan Seals
    1989-The Grammys are awarded: Tracy Chapman wins Best New Artist; Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy" wins Best Song and Record and Jethro Tull wins the first Hard Rock/Metal Grammy
    1989 - Strong northwesterly winds ushering cold arctic air into the north central U.S. produced snow squalls in the Great Lakes Region, with heavy snow near Lake Michigan. Totals in northwest Indiana ranged up to 24 inches at Gary, and up to 16 inches buried northeastern Illinois.
    1992 - Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States won the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the Albertville Olympics. Although she fell while performing a triple loop, she committed far fewer errors than her rivals, thus getting the gold medal. Midori Ito of Japan won the silver, Nancy Kerrigan of the United States the bronze. “Yamaguchi crafted her title on a feathery vision of artistic precision and elegance, with near total disdain for the latest trends in acrobatic jumping,” wrote Michael Janofsky in the New York Times.
    1995---Top Hits
Take A Bow- Madonna
Creep- TLC
On Bended Knee- Boyz II Men
Another Night- Real McCoy



Winter Poem

George Washington

        a poem by James Russell Lowell

Soldier and statesman, rarest unison;
High-poised example of great duties done
Simply as breathing, a world's honors worn
As life's indifferent gifts to all men born;
Dumb for himself, unless it were to God,
But for his barefoot soldiers eloquent,
Tramping the snow to coral where they trod,
Held by his awe in hollow-eyed content;
Modest, yet firm as Nature's self; unblamed
Save by the men his nobler temper shamed;
Never seduced through show of present good
By other than unsetting lights to steer
New-trimmed in Heaven, nor than his steadfast mood
More steadfast, far from rashness as from fear,
Rigid, but with himself first, grasping still
In swerveless poise the wave-beat helm of will;
Not honored then or now because he wooed
The popular voice, but that he still withstood;
Broad-minded, higher-souled, there is but one
Who was all this and ours, and all men's - Washington

(note: Lowell was born on February 22, 1819,
but is perhaps best know for his biography
of Abraham Lincoln---)




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